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Monitor Notes: Bike to Work Day, Affordable Housing Week, Redwood DNA, Renewable Food, Water Rates

Welcome to Monitor Notes, a weekly roundup of news items, event announcements, and updates on past Bay Area Monitor articles.


Chain Reaction

Hop on the 15th annual Bay Area Bike to Work Day next Thursday, May 9. More than 100,000 new and seasoned bike commuters are expected to ride, supporting ways to reduce carbon footprints. There are some 400 energizer stations throughout the nine Bay Area counties, where riders can slow down for refreshments and reinforcements during their commute. Check out the nine 2019 winners of the “Bike Commuter of the Year” award for added motivation.


On the House

Affordable Housing Week is kicking off across the Bay Area as Silicon Valley, the East Bay, the Peninsula, and San Francisco will witness a flurry of forums. One discussion, “What’s Palo Alto Doing to Address the Housing Crisis,” co-presented by the League of Women Voters of Palo Alto and several other groups, is May 9. The event features city officials (including Planning Director Jonathan Lait, pictured), developers, and advocates talking about a set of zoning changes paving the way for housing in mixed-use commercial districts and incentivizing in-law unit creation. The conversation includes a look at further changes expected this year to generate “missing middle” homes, the need for which was part of 2018’s housing policy recommendations from MTC and ABAG. Register here.


In Sequence

A collaborative research team successfully sequenced the coast redwood and giant sequoia genomes, hitting the first major milestone of a five-year project to develop tools to study their genomic diversity and assist with restoration. “This work will reveal the forests’ genetic identity so that we can protect the diversity that’s left, and in some areas, restore what was lost,” said Sam Hodder, president and CEO of Save the Redwoods League, in a news release. The organization joined research partners from the University of California, Davis and Johns Hopkins University. Find out what’s next for researchers now that sequences are complete, and then hike back through a Monitor article about these natural wonders.


Pick up the Bill

Your restaurant bill may soon include an additional line item as part of a new program called Restore California. The optional 1 percent charge will be earmarked for California’s Healthy Soil Carbon Fund. It also will help pay farmers $10 per ton of carbon removed from the atmosphere to help them transition to renewable farming practices. Agricultural plays a big role in fighting climate change. Read the Monitor’s recent coverage on the ways in which local carbon farms contribute to the effort.


Spout Your Views

The Marin Municipal Water District is proposing rate hikes. It wants to raise rates 4 percent annually starting this July through 2022. It also wants to charge a new capital maintenance fee, based on a customers’ meter size, to fund critical water system investments and projects to reduce Mt. Tamalpais wildfire risk, among other uses. Head to a community workshop on May 15 at San Rafael’s Albert J. Boro Community Center from 5 to 8 p.m. to learn more and ask the District’s leadership team questions.


Monitor Notes is produced by Cecily O’Connor. To receive it by email, scroll to the bottom of this page, enter your email address in the box under “RECEIVE EMAIL UPDATES,” and click the red “SIGN UP” button.


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